10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 How Literacy Impacts Reading and Gaming

For Ellie, that charade contributed to her waning interest in computer games and simulations fi-om its highpoint in middle childhood. Reasonably versed in computer technologies and a fan of emerging online forums such as Tumblr, she agreed to talk about her play in virtual worlds not as an enthusiast, but as something of a philistine. She enjoyed Second Life—but only up to a point. "The imaginative part stopped for me when I stopped designing my avatar," she told me. Further opportunities...
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10 FEB 2018 by ideonexus

 Computer Models as Play

There is, indeed, an "art" to worldplay in the social sciences that fuses narrative with analytical technique. There is also a kinship with the arts in the relationship between imagined world and reality, a point brought home by political scientist and ellow Robert Axelrod. In the early 1960s the teenage Axelrod won the Westinghouse kience Talent Search for a very simple computer simulation of hypothetical lifeforms behaving in an artificial environment. Ever since, he has worked on the appli...
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 American and French Revolutions Led to Different Results

...the structure of a network determines its virality. As recent work by the social scientists Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler has shown, the contagiousness of a disease or an idea depends as much on a social network’s structure as on the inherent properties of the virus or meme. The history of the late eighteenth century illustrates that point well. The ideas that inspired both the American Revolution and the French Revolution were essentially the same, and both were transmitted throu...
Folksonomies: enlightenment history
Folksonomies: enlightenment history
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25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 Children's Art Has Its Own Logic

Even simple scribbles are meaningful. While it was once thought that kids only scribbled to experience the physical sensation of moving their arm along the page, “now it’s been shown that when children are scribbling … they’re representing through action, not through pictures,” said Boston College’s Winner. “For example, a child might draw a truck by making a line fast across the page and going ‘zoom, zoom,’ and so it doesn’t look like a truck when the child is done, but i...
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This reminds me of Sagan's pumpkin-carving, where he made random cuts and took out chunks to make it scarier with more "bloody guts."

20 JUL 2017 by ideonexus

 The Need for Moral Universals in Democracy

Working societies — if they are to endure, grow, and cohere, if they are to prosper, hang together, and really mature — need moral universals. Moral universals are simply things that people believe everyone should have. In the UK, those things — those moral universals — are healthcare and media and welfare. In Germany, they are healthcare and media and welfare and higher education. And so on. Moral universals anchor a society in a genuinely shared prosperity. Not just...
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18 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Programming as a Way of Thinking

Running programs is the whole point of programming, of course, but there is more to it. The ability to execute code makes programming a tool for thinking and exploring. When we express ideas as programs, we make them testable; when we debug programs, we are also debugging our brains.
Folksonomies: programming thought
Folksonomies: programming thought
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30 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Whole Earth Catalog Purpose

We are as gods and might as well get good at it. So far, remotely done power and glory—as via government, big business, formal education, church—has succeeded to the point where gross defects obscure actual gains. In response to this dilemma and to these gains a realm of intimate, personal power is developing—power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this p...
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15 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 The Singularity of the Human Species

The singularity of the human species, 1 the study and defence of which form the plan of this work, stands out principally in the actual characteristics of what we shall call in these pages the Noosphere (or thinking envelope) of the earth. But just because, forming a true singularity (and not a simple irregularity) in evolutionary matter, humanity is born not by an accident but from the prolonged play of the forces of cosmogenesis, its roots must theoretically be recognisable (as in fact they...
Folksonomies: evolution science culture
Folksonomies: evolution science culture
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03 JUN 2016 by ideonexus

 "No Man's Sky" as Humanist Adventure

The true value of No Man’s Sky lies in something both incredibly simple and breathtaking. The point of the game is to discover and share knowledge with the other inhabitants of the universe. It’s almost as if the developers took the Enlightenment-era Encycloédie and turned it into a science fiction video game; a true testament to the best qualities and powers of the Information Age. While the sheer size may overwhelm some or risk boredom for others, players shouldn’t ignore the larger...
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01 MAR 2016 by ideonexus

 Economic Principles for Students

Here are some examples of the principles that teachers can use to expand concepts presented in formal course material. These principles don't have to be taught in the context of any particular class. It's an empirical question. This is a comment that ought to terminate many more conversations than it does. For many of the questions and issues we discuss, there is an answer available. Look it up and see. There's no point in discussing the merits of taking multivitamins when there are several ...
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